Friday, July 30, 2010

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction is one of the best movies ever. Argue with me. Go ahead. I dare you. I welcome the non-challenge of proving you wrong.

It's story. It's what story should be. Story story story. It's surprising, it's smart, it's real but not really real. Each and every character is the protagonist of their existence and that's exactly how all films should feel. They all move around in this one world, bumping into each other, making appearances in others' stories when it makes sense for them to do so. I always wonder if Jules hears about Vince's death and what he thinks. Or Mia. It's such a cool piece of story for the protagonist of one chunk to show up in someone else's only to be blown away. And the unpredictability is so cool. Who would see the whole gimp episode coming? No one, that's who. And that's awesome. Same thing with poor Marvin getting his head blown off. I that's probably my favorite moment in the film, "The Bonnie Situation" my favorite story.

I was thinking recently about films where protagonists don't arc. The only films I could come up with were bad films. But - this film might have a case for being both good and mostly arc-less. Jules arcs. Obvi. But I don't think anyone else does. Not Vince, not Butch, not Mia. I think Butch is the most surprising because he's arguably the most protagonisty in terms of desires and conflict. But he's no different at the end than he was at the beginning. Perhaps it's an off screen arc? Perhaps in the beginning when he's listening to Marsellus, he's planning to actually throw the fight. And when we see him next, he's arced into choosing his pride over his safety. He's opted to say screw you. I don't know. It doesn't really matter. I'm just rambling.

Any way you slice it, this movie is terrific. It's entertaining, it's fun, it's smart, the acting is great, the direction superb, and I can watch it over and over until the end of time. All hail Tarantino.

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